TO OUR READERS, thank you for checking out the web site and reading this blog.,
The web site is a virtual museum of Music Boxes and Musical Toys from mainly the period 1945 till approx. 1990.The almost 5900 boxes and toys are a good mirror of the variety of boxes and toys produced in this period, but as an estimate and that is my estimate only (there are just no reliable data) represent may be 5% of all different models of music boxes and musical toys produced and marketed in that period and that may even underestimate the numbers. Many model boxes and toys were produced at thousands at a time, but we are counting only the different models, not the absolute numbers (that likely runs in the hundreds of millions). The number of tunes used in those boxes and toys run already into the thousands.
No wonder that many people still have music boxes (musical toys from that period in good condition are by now difficult to find; they were children’s toys primarily, have been played with and in many cases lost their function and were discarded) But many older music boxes come with problems, like stuck winders of the music mechanism (governor and or wheels stuck because of clogged old oil), will wind but not play (likely broken spring) to name some examples or quit working altogether. Some will have sentimental value as they came from family, were received as a child, are a memory to family members that passed away, etc.
We are getting regularly questions about this and try to help with advice. But please first check out the Maintenance Page in the web site as that contains already most of the advice we can give. Advice , as we do NOT do repairs. And in the Links Page of the web site you will find a number of companies/persons selling (new) replacement music mechanisms and the ones that do repair of music boxes/mechanisms. That list, U.S.A. only, is by far not complete. It is therefore always useful to check the internet and see whether you can find a company or person nearer to you. And my advice is always to call first, explain the problem you are trying to solve and if they say they can help, ask for a cost estimate.
In changing an old not working music mechanism for a new one (if that is possible to do without damaging the box itself), please consider that many times it may not be possible to get the same tune. Tunes reflect the times the music boxes were produced, what were popular songs in a time that may be tens of years ago (the eighties is the period that more music boxes were sold than any other time, but even that is already on average 30 years ago). There are of course ‘ classic ‘ tunes like Wedding March, Singing in the Rain, Rock-A-Bye-Baby that remain popular over a long period, but most are not. Therefore the same tune in many cases cannot be found as a replacement; remember, thousands of tunes were used in the period we cover and distributors now have at best a few hundred ones on stock.
If there are still questions I will certainly try to help with advice where I can.
Enjoy the site and thank you again,